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5 draft prospects on DEFENSE who I'd bookmark for the Seahawks
Seaside Joe 1132: The Bruce Irvin, Shaquill Griffin, Malik McDowell, Cody Barton, and potentially Richard Sherman of this draft
Pete Carroll and John Schneider have drafted over 100 players for the Seattle Seahawks, and signed hundreds more after the draft, which gives us an inordinate amount of data points for which to use as flashlights to find “Pete-like” prospects.
I’ve ID’d a handful of names on Saturday morning that I’m going to share with you and then I’ll keep digging for more—some of whom have been buried in the news because they’re maybe overshadowed by a teammate, playing at a small school, or they didn’t test at the NFL Scouting Combine and may not have gotten headlines for their pro day workouts.
First, please go watch the Real in the Field Gulls reunion show posted this weekend: Me, Danny Kelly, and Jacson Bevens talk about the Seahawks and the draft for over an hour and the YouTube link has timecodes if you’d like to jump around to certain topics.
As always, your support means everything to Seaside Joe:
CB Tariq Castro-Fields, Penn State
Teammate Jaquan Brisker is drawing some first round grades at safety, but I think Tariq Castro-Fields could have the higher NFL ceiling and potentially develop into a high-level starting cornerback with the right coaching.
Castro-Fields measured 6’1, 197, and ran a 4.38 at the NFL Scouting Combine (faster than Sauce Gardner, Trent McDuffie, Kaiir Elam, and Derek Stingley), but didn’t do other tests until his pro day. There, he had a 37” vertical, 131” broad (would’ve tied Kyle Hamilton for third among DBs at the combine), and a 4.06 shuttle (tied as fast as Michigan S Daxton Hill).
One of Castro-Fields’ “weaknesses” is that he only had three picks in his career, but this is in part due to his commitment to shutting down receivers in coverage.
Tariq has not shown to be much of a ball hawk making interceptions in his college career. That’s because he would rather cover and tackle instead of taking chances and jumping routes hoping he can make an interception. I don’t see this as a concern but a lot of teams will. He is a little tight in his hips and will at times get his footwork out of whack when he is in single coverage but overall, he is a hell of a defensive back.
Drew Boylhart of The Huddle Report says Castro-Fields is a “sleeper cornerback, hiding in plain sight” and noted that he stood out in Senior Bowl practices.
His arms are a little under 31”, similar to Stingley, but Castro-Fields’ testing was much better than Stingley’s and he doesn’t have extensive medical red flags. Would you rather see Stingley in the first round or potentially Castro-Fields in round four at a much lower risk and potentially an even better future ahead of him?
DT Perrion Winfrey, Oklahoma
Seahawks fans may not have been happy with the Malik McDowell pick in 2017, but ultimately that is the direction that Pete decided to go in because McDowell was an elite athlete who could have been a dominant interior rusher without the off-field incident that happened.
Well, Winfrey could have a similar path to the NFL, but hopefully without any accidents off the field.
Though he hasn’t fully tested and skipped most workouts, Winfrey is a 6’4, 290 lbs defensive tackle with extremely long arms (35.5”) and a relatively-blazing 4.89 40-yard dash. He also (self-described) “dominated all my competition” at the Senior Bowl and says teams are looking at him as a three-tech and defensive end.
Winfrey could come in as a mid-day two pick, possibly reaching the end of the first round.
LB Darrian Beavers, Cincinnati
Imagine Cody Barton, but two inches taller and he’s a better athlete. Barton is a GREAT athlete by the way…
Beavers didn’t run the 40 and doesn’t have an RAS but his vertical, broad, and 3-cone are all in the “Great” range at linebacker: 36.5” vertical, 10’5 broad, 6.91 three-cone.
Beavers played two seasons at UConn before transferring to Cincinnati in 2019. There, became a rather dominant do-anything/do-everything defensive player, culminating in 98 tackles, 11 tackles for a loss, four sacks, one interception, and two forced fumbles in 2021.
Key word for Pete Carroll: Versatility
Beavers is being projected in the ~pick 100 range, meaning he could go anywhere from Seattle’s early third round pick to falling to the fifth if they’re extremely lucky. Another guy having fun at the Senior Bowl:
LB Troy Andersen, Montana State
Everybody already knows about Andersen at this point but in case you needed more reasons to believe he’s going to be a Seahawk… Troy Andersen is Bruce Irvin:
Seattle will need to use a second round pick on Andersen if they want him, if not trading up to do it because there simply aren’t many players in the NFL who have the athletic profile of this Montana State linebacker.
CB Josh Thompson, Texas
Speaking of guys who are other guys, meet Shaquill Griffin 2022:
Again, here he is at the Senior Bowl:
His arms come in just under 31” and there’s talk of moving him to safety in the NFL.
Thompson is from a town called Nacogdoches in Texas. He’s described as physical, competitive, good at run defense, and despite previous notion that he’s an average athlete he seems to be much more than that. His current draft projection is late day three, but I’m not sure that they’ve taken his elite pro day testing into account yet in mock drafts. Maybe a potential fifth round pick for Seattle.
Which of these players would you love the most on the Seahawks? Tell me in the comments!